Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'll keep drinkin', and you'll keep gettin' skinnier..

The song stuck in my head today.



My favorite line? "I don't have to be hateful, I can just say 'Bless your heart.'"

Which may be an indication I've been living in the South too long...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fun on a Monday

Coffee. Work. Supervision. Therapy. It's Monday, alright.

I did come across this, however. Which I find kind of fascinating.

Enjoy.

PS, I'm so going to bed at 8 tonight....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday.

What a great day I had.

I went to work, which was, well, great would be pushing it. But tolerable. And I was out by 11, so I went to coffee with the few who were still lingering. It was delightful. Good company, good mocha. Mmm. I spent most of the afternoon on the bike. And then I went to a recruitment dinner with Peng and a couple of the interns, and I think we showed them pretty well what a fun bunch we are.

After coffee I came home and futzed around on the internet for a while (okay, I was looking at jackets. It's the last thing I need to feel safer on the bike. It's surprisingly difficult to find non-black). I'd been waiting on Garth to ride, but he wasn't texting me back so I figured he was probably busy. So, ultimately, I geared up and hit the road.

Literally. Okay, "hit" is an overstatement.

I dropped the bike again. No, that's not true. It tipped, and the easiest way to get it back up was to set it down and start over. Both times I was stopped and perpendicular to a hill. The second time I did it, these two women came over and helped me get it pointed back in the right direction. One of them was a biker chick herself. We had a good chuckle at how female-identified the whole thing was. And then I got back on the bike and off I went.

I rode through a bunch of nearby neighborhoods. Eventually I ventured out onto a slightly bigger street, braved the roundabout, and made it to the big parking lot down the street that Larry used to practice for his road test. I rode in circles for a while. Practiced stopping, turning, weaving. And eventually connected with Garth,who rode over and joined me. He had me running drills for a while - shifting, figure eights, turns from a stop. All very useful and increasing my comfort level. We still have to raise the suspension a bit so I'll stop dragging my pegs in the turns, and I think that'll help my comfort level even more.

I came back home through the same roundabout, and this time - at Garth's urging - did the whole loop. Dragging my left peg, sending up showers of sparks the whole time. Which, for those of you unfamiliar with the idea, is fine. It looks dramatic, but it isn't a big deal at all. Garth? Thought it looked cool. Here's what I was thinking:

"I'mgonnadieI'mgonnadieI'mgonnadieI'mgonnadieI'mnotdeadI'mnotdeadI'mnotdeadI'mnotdeadohthankgod I'm going straight again. Ahh."


It'll get better. In that, I'll feel better soon. I wasn't even close to dying.

The progress I've made in the past couple of days has been good, I think. And I'm definitely doing better than I was at the end of class. Which was WAY better than I was doing at the start of class!

Here's a relevant statistic for you: According to the 2006 NTHSA study by Hurt, et al, which studied over 4,000 motorcycle crashes for causative factors and modifiable variables, only 8% of riders involved in crashes had formal training, like the MSF course I took. Stated another way, 92% were self-taught or learned from family or friends.

Makes you think.

Honing one's skills with experienced friends who've had formal instruction, however, is generally encouraged. My instructors in the class said over and over that they highly recommended finding a mentor.

How amazingly lucky am I? I have five.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A tale of two Hogs...

So I finally decided that the Harley Sportster was my bike.

You know how, sometimes, you just know these things? Two weeks ago, I dragged Larry to the Harley dealership in Durham. I had planned to stop in and see a friend who was working there, maybe get these boots I had seen in Long Island. And, you know, while we were there, we sat on a couple of bikes. I threw my leg over this Sportster Extra Low, and was immediately like, yep, this is my bike. It's short enough, it's got a low center of gravity, it's heavy enough that it can accommodate even my weight without shifting said center of gravity up too high to be stable. It was comfortable. The pegs were in the right place. And there was something ineffable...

But no, no. That was way out of my price range! I couldn't afford it. Maybe for my second bike. Moving on.

And then last weekend we went to the other Harley dealership in town to look at their used bikes. Frankly, we went to look at a Yamaha (they have a bunch of pre-owned bikes that they've taken in trade). And lo and behold, they had a used Sportster. Which, that one felt a little high, but the salesman assured me the seat could be lowered a little more. And it had clearly been dropped, but Larry and Garth assured me it was cosmetic damage. And it was only a little out of my price range. But still...

So THEN. Wednesday. I have minimal work commitments, so on my way out to State Hospital, I drift by the first Harley dealership. And, you know, ask what they've got. And we're looking at this one that was priced roughly the same as the first one I'd sat on and he says, "You know, I've got a 1990 Sportster in the warehouse. Why don't you come on back?" So he started it up and let me out on the range and I rode gleefully in circles for five or ten minutes. And the price? Was right. But it was a 20 year old bike...

Hmm.

What do I do?, I asked my boys. Larry said, not an obvious mistake. Garth said, you can do better.

Truthfully? I think they were both right.

And ultimately, Garth prevailed, but only because he did better. He found this bike online, which was a consignment sale through a local independent dealership. It was a 2007 Sportster 883 Low. The price was crazy. And it had - are you ready for this? - 57 miles on it. 57! It's basically a new bike. With engine guards! And street pegs! And standard controls! And stock pipes! And...well, it's black, which I'm not thrilled about, but I'll just have to get a fuchsia jacket or something.

And today? It's all mine.

Garth and I went to check it out. They didn't let us test ride it, which I wasn't thrilled about, but, again, basically a new bike. We fiddled, we looked, we sat, we proverbially kicked the tires. I looked piteously at Garth. He said, you aren't going to find a better deal. I looked piteously at the bike. And I took a deep breath, and said, "I'll take it." And I did.


Isn't she pretty? I've decided it's a she, because apparently the Sportster is a "chick bike." Which, that's fine. I'm a biker chick.

Garth drove it home for me, because I've still never gone above 20 mph. We stopped by Jen and Bill's, and showed it off to them. And then, Garth being the good, good man that he is, we went over to the local high school parking lot, where I rode in circles for a solid hour while Garth froze his ass off watching me (it was not warm today). It was blissful. I didn't hit anything. I didn't drop the bike once. I just rode. And I love the bike. It handles well, the clutch is good, it's not too loud.

It's my bike.

And this whole process has been great for recognizing (again) what an awesome bunch of people I've landed with. Garth, Larry, Bill, Jen - all have been infinitely patient, tolerated my neurosis, soothed my anxieties, and have been amazingly supportive. As they are, to me, in most things. Thanks guys.

Let's ride!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey

So today wasn't so bad.

I left for work at 6:15. Tried to go to Starbucks for coffee, but of course they weren't open yet. Fortunately, the Bojangles across the street was, and they had coffee. But of course I'd forgotten my wallet, and couldn't pay at the Boj with my Starbucks card. So I dug around my bag and my car, and came up with exactly the amount needed for a coffee and a blueberry biscuit. This made me happy.

I got to work, did my prep work, and hit the floor. I ended up rounding on all the eating disorder patients and most of the adolescents. My attending rolled in a little later than I did, but he also brought me donuts. I was done with my notes by 10. I spent a little while talking to John, who was also working today, and had just stepped out the door of the hospital when my pager started going off.

::sigh::

But I made it home, and then to Thanksgiving at Shady Pines. We had a very nice turkey dinner, with the works - cranberry sauce (from a can, which sort of cracked me up), dressing, ham, sweet potato casserole with the little marshmallows, that green bean casserole with crispy onions on top, etc, etc. We sat with some of my parents' new friends, and it was very nice. One of their friends is not a whole lot older than I am, and was only allowed to move in to SP because he's blind. He was also instrumental in creating the rehab organization that has the movers who've moved me the last three times I...um...moved. He and his fiancee were great to talk to. As was her cousin and the cousin's husband, who are also residents there. Their "adopted son" and his wife sat with us, too. It was a nice time. I hung out with my folks for a little while afterwards.

I stopped on the way home and checked in on Larry's cats, who are in my charge for the holiday. I've met them before, and they know I smell like a big dog. Larry maintains that they have no idea what a dog is, but I think cats know. Anywho, they've not had a problem with me before, but do seem to notice that I smell funny. The calico was all purrs and love.


(This is us, sitting in the dark because Larry doesn't appear to have any lights in the living room...)

The black cat, not so much. He kept looking at me suspiciously, like, "Who are you and what have you done with my person?". He was civil, and happily accepted the cat treat I gave him, of course. It's funny, though, because he's got the reputation of being the affectionate one.

It also reminded me, though, of the differences between cats and dogs. I tell my dog, "Hey, Maggie, come here!" and most of the time, she'll come trotting over. She listens, usually. She does a few commands. The cats? After walking around the kitchen with the calico at my heels, I finally sat down and called her over.

She sat.

And looked at me.

And cleaned her face.

Hmm....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Can't make this shit up.

I met a woman today - here, in NC - who used to live in a house I lived in. In Chicago. We were obviously some years apart, but we had the same bedroom growing up. It was very, very spooky. And pretty damn cool.

What a weird week I'm having.

What a weird life I have.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Squawk!

I had this incredibly ridiculous, headless chicken kind of day. Early therapy patient, then breakfast with the applicants, rounds, team, family meeting, applicant interview, resident support lunch, family meeting, supervision, therapy...filling the occasional spare minutes with phone calls, notes, emails, and one sticky bun that took me four hours to finish.

All on an inexplicable four hours of sleep.

I don't care if it's 8pm. I'm goin' to bed.....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanks

Wait, has it really been since Wednesday that I've posted anything? Is that sentence even English?

Last week was, as you can probably guess, difficult. For a lot of different reasons. But fortunately, the weekend was awesome.

You know my circle of friends that's centered around the coffee shop refers to itself as the Village. Yesterday was the annual Village Thanksgiving celebration. It's a standing tradition, that's been going on for a number of years now from what I gather, but this was obviously my first. And it was wonderful.

It's a potluck, so I spent the afternoon baking cornbread. LOTs of cornbread. Regular, pumpkin, and pumpkin pecan. Because when I bring a side dish, I bring the heck out of it, apparently. There were some mishaps, but I ended up with a large amount of a passable product (actually, the pumpkin was reeeeally good). I picked up Larry (since he lives a stone's throw from me) and his casserole, and off we went to the north end of town. There were probably 25 or 30 of us, and enough food for a small nation. Turkey, dressing, beans of many kinds, scratch-made cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, some sort of broccoli soup, brussel sprouts, on and on and on. And the desserts!! One friend in particular made the most a-maz-ing cheesecake I think I've ever had. Garth and family came with a fabulous apple tart. Misty made rockin' apple pie. Oh, my gosh, it was such a spread. And the evening concluded with ten or so of us sitting around the fire pit toasting marshmallows and laughing a lot. At one point we ran out of storebought firewood, so our hostess sent her husband into the woods behind the house for more. We set a good dozen marshmallows on fire and I stole sips of Larry's whiskey and two friends melted parts of their shoes on the fire pit. And my sides were a little sore by the end of the evening from laughing so hard.

We debriefed on the way home and discussed how I was a little tense going into the evening. I'm new to the collective, some of whom have known each other for quite some time, and I always worry a little about how I'll be received. But invariably I end up feeling welcome and being reminded how grateful I am to belong to the group.

And then, today, after coffee and breakfast with our inner circle, Larry and Garth and I went bike shopping again. Garth was a good addition to the entourage and is by far the most mechanically minded and knowledgeable of any of us. Larry has been incredibly tolerant of me dragging him all over North Carolina while I try to make up my mind about what sort of bike I want. Both of them have been very patient and reassuring and, being very proficient and experienced riders, a wealth of wisdom. We made some real progress on the motorcycle front, today, I think, even if I didn't actually come home with a bike. But I was driving back from Southeastern Nowhere, NC this afternoon, with Garth in my back seat fiddling on his iPhone and Larry next to me humming some Aerosmith song that had been playing at the Harley dealership, and I couldn't help but smile as we headed into the lengthening shadows of an afternoon well spent.

I'm so grateful to be continually collecting good people in my life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh, what a tiring day.

I wish I could come up with some moving words of wisdom tonight. Instead, I give you the song that's been rolling around in my head all day...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day "off"

So, I took today off so I could get some things done that I can't do on the weekends. I got about half of it accomplished.

Did go to the DMV, took the written motorcycle test, gave them my little card and $18.75, and in 5-7 days will have a reissued driver's license with a big "M" on it, which says I'm allowed to ride a motorcycle on public streets.

God help us all.

Nah, it's fine. It did take me longer than anticipated, though, partly because I went to the one in the county where I used to live. The lines were usually shorter, and beyond that, I got a call while I was at coffee this morning that one of my patients was out of his prescription of one of those things you can't call in or prescribe electronically. So the trip worked double duty, because I went out to the clinic at State Hospital and wrote him this month's scripts. But it also meant I had to move Maggie's vet appointment. I ran some other errands while I was out there, and made it back with just enough time to check my email before I took Maggie to her rescheduled appointment. Which, we went to a new vet today for the first time. Which turned out to be crazy expensive, even with the "senior dog" discount.

You heard me. Senior dog discount. Maggie's in the AARC (you know. The American Association of Retired Canines). No wonder she gets on so well at Shady Pines.

But the vet was WONDERFUL. And she said my dog is awesome. And she reassured me that the bump on my puppy's head is just a bump, not head cancer. And Maggie is no longer out of heartworm pills and has a nice, shiny new 3-year rabies shot. And the vet has weekend hours for established patients, which we now are. Win. Oh, and they took what appears to be a mug shot for her file:


Where are the numbers, though?

Of course, though, it took longer than I'd hoped, which meant I was late to therapy. Which always ends on time, of course, and I made it in on schedule to my next appointment, which was...interesting.

And then I had chocolate for dinner.

I'm so glad I'm going back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Someday this is going to be really funny.

So after I hung out at coffee for a while, I had lunch with a friend from work. Which was tasty, and it was nice to have time to catch up. And then I started Day 2 of BikeQuest 2010. Larry and I reconvened (after I stopped by my parents', because they were worried. Maggie was acting like she wasn't feeling very well and her nose wasn't cold enough) and were headed to Western Nowhere, NC, to look at a Honda Nighthawk, when he was like, um, have you ridden Jen's yet? Maybe we should do that before we drive all the way to WN.

I hate it when he's all logical.

So I called Bill, because Jen was up on a ladder. I asked him, he asked her, and of course, Jen was like "Sure!! Come on over!" Because she's just that awesome. Bill had the bike all pulled out for me, but it was facing the wrong direction. So, okay, I hop on, mess around with the clutch a little to find the "friction zone" (the spot where the clutch engages and it starts moving the bike forward when in first gear) and I'm turning the bike around....and it's turning...and it's turning...and it's leaning...anditsleaninnnnnng......and boom. I'm down. Under the bike.

As usual.

Okay, fine. We got it back up. They bravely put me back on it. I get the thing moving, and it's nice! I get to the cul-de-sac, I do a little turn. There's some shifting, there's some breaking, there's some leaning, no problem. Until, of course, I try to stop. And I put my foot down...and the ground isn't there. It's about two inches lower than I need it to be. And then it's leaning...and I'm trying to lean the other way but it's still leaning....aaaaaaaand I'm under the bike again.

Fuckin' a.

Apparently my head hit the curb when I went down that time - not hard enough that I even noticed it inside the helmet, but hard enough to make a noise that scared Jenny. So I crawled out from under the bike again. The boys got it back up. I did a lot of swearing. And we concluded the Nighthawk is too tall for me.

Well...okay. They concluded it was too tall for me. I concluded I was the worst rider ever. Although apparently I looked fine when the thing was actually moving, so on the whole, I consider it a win. But mind you, it took a lot of reassurance from Jen, Bill, and Larry that I actually did look fine while riding and my legs are just too damn short.

We went back to Larry's and I sat on his bike for a while. We concluded his was too small for me. I felt a little like Goldilocks. So which one is "just right"?

That remains to be seen. Since the bike I really wanted got sold, one bike we were looking at was just like Jen's and one was just like Larry's, and the fourth one was in South Far Away, NC, we scrapped the mission. I invited myself back over to Jen and Bill's, hung out there for a little while until I went and hung out with my folks for dinner. And it makes sense to wait a minute - I'm taking a mental health day tomorrow, and one of the things I'm doing is going to the DMV to get the M added to my license. So, after that, I can actually test drive the things myself (don't worry. I'll take one of the experienced people with me to do an actual test drive). Meanwhile, I keep watching Craigslist. And I continue to hope the Harley Davidson Fairy will visit in the night.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Biker babe

Nope, don't have one yet. But looking for a bike was the predominant activity of my day.

Had coffee this am. Made a side trip to this little local place which advertises the world's best BLTs. Had a BLT for breakfast. It was tasty, but I'm not sure I'd be quite so generous with the title (I mean, I haven't tried ALL the BLTs in the world, after all). Got into a complicated decision-making process about who was going with me. And ultimately, Larry - who's one of the most experienced riders in our group - and I wandered off in search of Kate's Motorcycle.

We started at the shop where I've gotten my gear thusfar. I sat on half a dozen bikes or so, messed with the pegs (which is the fancy biker word for pedals), clutched the clutch, played with the buttons. Found a few I liked, compared the ones I had on my radar from Craigslist. Then we went to the local Harley dealer, where I sat on my favorite bike yet (which was way too expensive). And then we hit another bike shop, where I sat on nothing but got a lot of helpful advice. Which was...well, helpful.

We finally ended up back at Larry's apartment, with me sitting on his bike. Which, actually, I liked. But then we stood around yapping for a while. So long that the skittish little neighborhood stray hopped right up on the bike.

This would be the same neighborhood stray that Larry's been trying to convince me to take as a pet. I was very resistant to this idea, even thought Maggie would LOVE LOVE LOVE a cat (Maggie's a cat person). I'm allergic. And I don't need another animal to worry about, nor another expensive thing in my life (the bike will be enough). And I don't really like most cats. I'm a dog person. Right? Right.

Except my resolve is wavering since I met the cat.

(I do not need a cat. I do not need a cat. I do not need a cat.)

He's awful cute, though, isn't he?

Friday, November 12, 2010

You know those days....

...when, no matter what you do, you feel like you absolutely, positively, totally, and completely CANNOT do anything right?

Yep. Been one of those.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

BEEP! BEEP!! BEEEEEEP!

It's the most irritating part of my job.

That noise my pager makes. During hours I'm not supposed to be working.

I'm wishing right now that I'd gone into one of those specialties that boasts a "pager-free lifestyle" (although I don't think any of them ever really do, especially not as a resident).

That's alls I'm going to say about it. Except this: I REALLY AM NOT INCOMPETENT! And this is not an emergency!! And I really don't want to talk to Patient Relations at 8:30pm.

I should really start leaving the damn thing in my car. Except I'm too hypervigilant about my patients...

At least I have Maxine to keep things in perspective....

Monday, November 08, 2010

Best foot forward

Look! It's my right tootsie!



It was a long day. I actually had a whole other blog post written, but then decided that I didn't like it. So I'm posting an x-ray of my foot instead.

Which, incidentally, still hurts. ::whimper::

Time for some ibuprofen and snuggling in bed with my puppy....

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Success

So, I've spent the last two days riding in circles (and weaves, and s-curves, and over 2x4s) around a parking lot. On a very badly abused motorcycle. I dropped the 300-lb Kawasaki Eliminator on my foot. Twice, in fact. I stalled the bike out at least three hundred MILLION times, and I don't even know how. And yet, I'm currently in possession of a card that will allow me to walk into the NC DMV, take a ridiculous written test, pay $10, and then have a Class M endorsement on my license.

And then I can legally ride a motorcycle on the streets of North Carolina.

Hey, I didn't say I'd ride it well.

Nah, I did okay. I mean, I passed, after all. And my instructor commented that I came a long way (I can only imagine what I looked like yesterday!). Of course, he told me this during the talk when he said specifically to me, "You need to get a bike. You need to start riding. You need the practice."

I didn't love it the way I'd expected to. I think that I will, actually, but he's not wrong that I need practice. I went in thinking, "How hard can this be?" and left thinking "Holy shit, that's hard work!" I expected to be a natural. Why, I don't know, because it's not like I'm a natural at walking or anything requiring balance. But I expected handling the bike to be a lot easier. I'm wicked sore today - in my back, my thighs...oh, yeah, and my foot.

Right? Because my feet weren't messed up enough.

So I was trying to come to a stop yesterday and I think I had the handlebars turned when I hit the front brake. And I dropped the bike. It just got away from me. Unfortunately, I didn't quite get away from it. The engine (read: the heavy part) fell on my foot, and of course the first thing I thought was Shit. I just broke my foot, didn't I? But I pulled it out and put some weight on it and it hurt, but it was stable.

So what did I do with my potentially broken foot? I got back up on the bike.

Okay, and I cried a little bit.

But I got back in line and I stuck it out for the next five hours. I went out to dinner with Jen and Bill for moral support ("I'm the worst rider ever!" "Uh, no, let me tell you some stories..."). I came home and took some ibuprofen. And I woke up at 4:30 am (thanks, Daylight Savings Time) with a very sore foot.

So I made the time calculations around 5, and figured I could probably make it through the ER in time to get to class if the dumb thing wasn't fractured. So I packed up my gear and went to have the foot looked at. It went a little something like this:

Front desk nurse: How can I help you? 
Me: I think I might have broken my foot.
FDN: How?
Me: I dropped a motorcycle on it. 
FDN: What part?
Me: Well, the pain's in the lateral -
FDN: No, I mean, what part of the motorcycle?


So it turns out both he and the resident who treated me rode. I had an x-ray and a very nice chat with the doc about what sort of protective gear I should get. Which started with "You need to get you some damn boots."

He warned me to be careful out there and offered me some painkillers I didn't take. And then I got in my car and headed towards the community college, all the while arguing in my head about whether or not I should go to class. But my foot hurt! But it wasn't broken. Was I using that as an excuse to not go back? I could've quit. Easily. I almost did. I mean, I'd already decided to take the class again in the spring. So why bother?

But my stubbornness prevailed. I got coffee and more motrin and I sucked it up. Although I dropped the bike again, doing pretty much the same thing. I thought about leaving then. I thought about leaving several times after that. After all, I had such a great excuse...

But I stayed.

And I'm glad I did.

By the end of the day, it was a lot more enjoyable. I felt a lot more comfortable, even on my crappy bike. The anxiety abated a bit. Things started making more sense. Leaning into the curve was actually a lot of fun.

And so, we'll see. I'm going to look at bikes soon. I'm going to think about what I want and what I can handle skillfully, emotionally and fiscally. And either way I've got the M on my license. Go me!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Start your engines....

Today blew.

But tonight was my very first MSF motorcycle riding and safety class. Four hours tonight, and then ten hours each tomorrow and Sunday. It's a lot to pack in to a weekend! Tonight was all classroom, and made me anxious about the whole process. I'm a little bit worried my whole left-right dyspraxia issue (read: I sometimes can't tell my right from my left). I'm a little bit worried I won't be coordinated enough to do the whole both-hands-both-feet thing. I'm a little bit worried about falling down. I'm a little bit worried about going too fast.

But I'm also a lot excited. Yay! Motorcycles tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Clogged

So one of my patients looks at me the other day and says, "You know...I love long hair on a woman."

It was a wildly inappropriate thing to say, yes, but it's not a narrowly held sentiment. In fact, part of the reason I grew my hair back out to its current almost-at-my-waist length is because a guy I was kind of dating when I had short hair saw old  pictures of me and said, "Damn, that hair is hot as hell." And, you know, I like it better this way, too.

But here's the thing - it's not all Pantene Roses and Redken Dreams.

A, it gets tangled up in everything. Two, I shed like a fiend, and it's a lot more noticeable. But, three...you will not believe what came out of my shower drain tonight.

And on a related note, it's time I got a man.

Not that I wasn't wildly successful at unclogging my shower drain tonight with a makeshift coat-hanger-turned-pipe-snake-hair-puller-outer-thingy. There's no longer four inches of standing water at the end of my shower. I won't be constantly slipping on the conditioner residue for at least the next couple of months. But I would greatly have appreciated being able to twirl my long auburn locks around my finger and say, "Honeeeeey...."

Oh, who am I kidding. Any man attached to me would've been handing me the pliers.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

There's clearly something wrong with me...

I'm wrapping bagels to put them in the freezer (I brought home two dozen, which I distributed between friends and family and my tummy, except for the last eight) (and no, that's not what's wrong with me, be patient) and I'm humming to myself, and suddenly I bust out with this song:



From Sophomore Madrigals. Sixteen years ago. And I don't remember it being in German. But I'm sure we sounded just as good.

Still, it's pleasant, and I thought I'd share. 

It was a long ass, 12-hour day today. Which was supposed to be longer, because I was supposed to meet Gomer at 7. But I told him I had a meeting. I barely slept last night and my knee hurt and I couldn't handle the gym tonight. So we try again next week.

Oy. What a day. I'm so not ready to be back at work.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Week at (some) Length

So I'm home from New York.

It was such a good week.

Let's see, I left you last on Sunday night....

Monday Buie and I hit Long Island. Really? We ate New York. We had bagels for breakfast (how did I not know about these? Long Island bagels are, like, unbelievably good).We had New York pizza for lunch. We went to a diner for dinner. SO yummy. In fact, I ate a lot of New York staples over the next week. Damn, that's good food up there.

We also hung out, caught up, visited her sister (whom I know) and her brother (whom I hadn't met yet, but have been hearing about for years, from both her and her mom). We got mani-pedis. It was lovely. We met her boss for dinner, too. She's a hoot. In that "hoot is code for crazy" kind of way. But it's a generally good crazy.

Oh, my gawd, I'd forgotten just how much I missed Buie. But I pulled up to her house and it was like I'd seen her yesterday. You know how you have those few friends where you could literally not see each other for five years and then just pick up right where you left off? Buie's also one of those very few people with whom I can be totally and utterly myself - not just the good stuff, or just the neurotic stuff, but all of it, plus that little bit of really well-hidden crazy I rarely let anyone in on besides my therapist.

I also got to meet Buie's husband, whom I never had. He's very tall (Buie not so much). I liked him. Not a big talker, but an affable guy. And I met his dad, too, which was amusing.

Tuesday was my first day of the conference. WHICH WAS HUGE. Three floors of conference rooms full of Child Psychiatrists! It was so good, though. SO good. Did I mention the good part? And I had falafel off the falafel truck. That? Also so good. And I did a really good job with the whole public transit thing. Like, even I was impressed with the cleverness of me, what with the whole LIRR to the MTA and then walking a mile to the Hilton in a city I'd never seen before. Without getting mugged or looking (too much) like a tourist.

Here's your Wordless Wednesday:



Thursday was a very triggering morning at the conference, even though I went to the BEST talk of the whole week. I left early and sat in Central Park for a while (so soothing) before getting back on the subway. But you know what I really loved about Thursday? Meeting Barb!!! In real life!!! Like, face to face. Once again, it was as if I'd known her for years ('cause I have). I walked into her house and immediately it was like I'd been there a million times. We played with the dogs and hung out and then we had dinner with her daughters. Oh, my gosh, it was the best. AND she even gave me SOCKS!!!



Love.

We also worked on her daughter Jane's Halloween costume. She was a giant green gummi bear. It was hilarious and way too much fun. I mean, really, any time there's a glue gun and duct tape involved - especially lime green duct tape - I'm there. Oh, my gosh, and the dogs - Austin is SUCH a love. So cuddly! So hyper!! Such a lab puppy!! Scout tried to eat Maggie at one point, but they got over it. I loved 'em.



Friday was conference-y. And then I came home and played with the dogs until Buie got home. That night I met some of Buie's crazier friends.

Did I mention the dogs?? I LOVE HER DOGS. She has two Vizslas (they're Hungarian pointers), Rusty and Buddy. They're just adorable. The first night I was there, Buddy, the older one (he's three), came up and burrowed under my covers and slept with me all night. He kept that up for several days, actually, until Buie locked him in with her at night (I would've done the same thing if Maggie had abandoned me). Maggie and Rusty (he's two, and the more puppyish of the two) played and wrestled and ran and chased all week. She and the boys got along famously. And I...I mean. I just adored them.


(Buddy's kind of my favorite. Don't tell Rusty. But Buddy's sort of an old soul...)


There were such awesome dogs on this trip....



Saturday was more Long Islandishness. AND we went back to the long side of the island (yeah, I made that up) and hung out with Barb some more. Buie and Barb? Clicked right away. The three of us had a good, good time. And then Saturday night we hung out with Buie's boss again. And her dog! Hilarity ensued.

Sunday...I didn't leave as early as I'd planned. We got some bagels to take home, we got a present for Peng (who was AWESOME and covered me for the week), we got into an amusing situation with a crazy bird lady. We ran a couple of errands. And then...I had to leave. I mean, I had to.

We'd stalled as much as we could. I apparently tried to leave half my stuff there (I still can't find my deodorant). I hugged the dogs like three hundred times.

It was really hard to leave New York.

I mean, I'm glad to be back to my people and my life and my own bed. And today I ran around and got some things done and saw my shrink and my supervisor and my chiropractor. But there was a distinct lack of Buie, Barb, and Buddy (and Rusty, even if he doesn't alliterate. And Austin. And Jane and Ana. And even Scout).

Thanks for a great week, NYC!!